december update

Posted in appearances,news,press,sketchbook by Tom on December 5th, 2010

No time for small talk and excuses about why I haven’t updated this blog for a while – instead, a quick update of what I’ve been up to and what I plan to be doing over the next few months.

Solipsistic Pop
Most of my time and energy has been spent getting the third volume of Solipsistic Pop finished and launched. The launch at The Black Heart in Camden went really well (despite technical problems and a very hot and over-crowded room) and we had a successful UK-wide launch at Thought Bubble in Leeds the following weekend. It’s been an incredibly fun year putting SP together and now, coming to the end of 2010, I’ve had a chance to reflect a little and figure out what i want to do with it in the future. If you’re interested – I’ve blogged over on the Solipsistic Pop website about my plans for year two. Essentially, I’m only planning on producing one SP in 2011 and hope to focus on my own work for a while.

Forgive the slightly scrappy look of the SP website at the moment – WordPress changed the theme, ruined all my custom CSS and I’ve had to improvise. Will tidy it up when I have a bit more time on my hands.

Website Polish
Speaking of website changes – I’ve had a little bit of a clean over here. You’ll find has become a simpler to navigate online portfolio and I’ve tinkered around with this blog a little so I don’t look an entire decade behind the rest of internet. Now I’m about two or three years behind. Let me know what you think or have any suggestions on ways I can make it better.

Some Interviews + Press
I recorded an interview and selected some songs for the WAW+P podcast at London Fields Radio. Host Mike Leader is always a pleasure to chat to and the whole thing was a lot of fun. Closest I’ll ever get to doing Desert Island Discs too – I possibly enjoyed the process of selecting tracks far too much – I think I drove Mike a little mad by constantly changing my mind.

I also recorded an interview for an arts programme on Resonance FM in which a few other SP contributors such as Philippa Rice, Marc Ellerby, Luke Pearson and Lizz Lunney were interviewed. This may be released as a podcast at some point – will edit this blog with a link when I know more.

My 24 hour comic about Crohns Disease was mentioned by Scott McCloud over at his blog the other week which made my month. You can read the comic for free here. I’ve sold out of printed copies of this but will put a free PDF version together for people who want to print it out at home.

Sketchy Thoughts
Here are a few sketches I found lying at the back of a sketchbook. On a related note – I’ve just picked up Denys Wortman’s New York: A Portrait of the City in the 1930s and 1940s – such a beautiful book and highly recommended. It got me thinking I’d like to see a comic artist document London right now. Dan mentioned the Lenin quote: ‎”There are decades when nothing happens; and there are weeks when decades happen” on Twitter the other day and it occurred to me that someone should be out there transcribing the protests in words and pictures. I’m half tempted to give it a go… Meantime:

Christmas Comics
Finally, with Christmas just around the corner, Eddie Ross blogged about supporting your favourite small press artists and giving the best present you can give to your loved ones – comics! Have a read of his recommendations and be sure to buy his 100 Tiny Moments as it’s one of the best comics reads of 2010.

I also – of course – completely agree with encouraging people to support their favourite artists and local stores. Go down to your local comic shop and buy a bespoke, hand-stapled comic for a friend. Email an artist and commission a piece of original artwork. You’ll be in possession of a unique Christmas gift and also be a patron of the arts. Most artists have prints, posters, cards and other merchandise available on their websites. Go buy some of it!

Convinced but not sure where to start? Why not buy some gorgeous hand-crafted jewellery from Tuck Shop? Sparkplug Books have got some wonderful comics available, so do Picturebox, maybe you need a Hairy Midget Elf in your life or know someone who does – Lizz Lunney has the answers, you don’t just have to support comics – fancy a bit of comedy? how about an awkward Christmas CD from Helen Arney? Julia Scheele is a fantastic illustrator – why not hire her to draw you a card? NoBrow deserve a few of your pennies, as do Self Made Hero and Blank Slate… I could go on and on. But I should stop. Basically – please go spend some money directly with artists, local stores and small publishers!

Merry Christmas.